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Posts Tagged ‘Margaret Thatcher’

Authorized Margaret Thatcher Biography Coming in May

Knopf will publish the first volume of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher‘s authorized biography on May 21.

Margaret Thatcher: From Grantham to the Falklands will be the first of two books written by journalist Charles Moore. The $35 hardcover will be 912 pages long with 24 pages of photographs. Knopf plans a first printing of 100,000 copies. Here’s more from the release:

Drawing on an extraordinary cache of letters to her sister Muriel, Moore illuminates Thatcher’s youth, her relationship with her parents, and her early romantic attachments, including her first encounters with Denis Thatcher and their courtship and marriage. Moore depicts her determination and boldness from the very beginning of her political career and gives the fullest account of her wresting the Tory leadership from former prime minister Edward Heath at a moment when no senior figure in the party dared to challenge him. He writes about Thatcher’s close relationship with Ronald Reagan and her contentious relationship with Alexander Haig. The book also explores in great detail the obstacles and indignities that Thatcher encountered as a woman in what was still overwhelmingly a man’s world.

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World Voices: The Literary Side of Crime

(photo credits: Mary Reagan)

S.J. Rozan
introduced Saturday’s “Literary Thrillers” panel, held at the Bowery Ballroom, by saying the subject was “one close to my heart.” And even though the topic didn’t get addressed directly by panelists Kenji Jasper, Henry Chang and Alicia Giminez-Bartlett until the question period (when I played ringer and asked what, exactly, made thrillers literary) the topic permeated the hour-plus discussion, which quickly established that Chang and Jasper care a great deal about having their characters drive the story and basing said stories on their own respective realities (Jasper grew up in inner-city DC, Chang in New York’s Chinatown, where he still resides.) Bartlett delineated the difference between genre constraints and literary expansiveness and how she felt it was, in some way, easier to write crime fiction as a result.

During the signing portion afterwards I finally had the chance to meet Giminez-Bartlett’s panelmates from the previous night’s “Mediterranean Noir” event, Carlo Lucarelli and Massimo Carlotto. Neither Italian writer is comfortable enough speaking English (something I didn’t figure out until my attempt at conversation with Lucarelli) so translator Michael Reynolds intermediated between me and Carlotto, who was also in town for the Edgar Awards (where he was nominated for Best Paperback Original.) When I asked Carlotto if it was odd to have read from “his newest novel” IL FUGGIASCO – really his first, written twelve years ago – he said no because he’s frequently asked to speak about his voluminous legal woes in and around Italy. He did add that the “Carlotto Case,” as it’s known there, is not exactly fresh material for him anymore.

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Stef Penney’s Surprise Costa Win

While some punters bet heavily on William Boyd to take the prize, while the William Hill crew bet on Brian Thompson‘s autobiography KEEPING MUM, the overall winner of the Costa Book Awards turned out to be Stef Penney, who had taken the Debut prize for her first novel, THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES. Penney’s win is all the more remarkable, the Telegraph reports, because she revealed to the paper last month that her book was rejected by “quite a lot” of publishers before being bought by the small new publisher, Quercus. Then there’s her much-discussed agoraphobia that prevented her from travelling to Canada to research the book – instead, she did much of her work at the British Library. “My first hope was that the Canadians wouldn’t shoot me,” she said before collecting her prize.

But the 10-strong judging panel, including chairman Armando Iannucci, broadcasters Kate Adie and Clive Anderson, and Carol Thatcher, daughter of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, took little more than an hour to pick Penney’s novel. “We felt that it was not just an extraordinary first novel but an extraordinary novel,” said Ianucci. “It was an amazingly ambitious undertaking which was achieved completely.”